SDP: Phone Photos

Photos are annotated

The exhibition day was very stressful, due to having to print on that day because of aforementioned (in previous blog posts) problems. The morning drop-in session in the print room was too full, so for back up I went upstairs to the Mac suites. I wasn’t allowed to print on my own paper, however, so I tried out their own paper already in the machines. This wasn’t bad but it was a bit too thin (gsm was lower) so it didn’t stand very well (the bottom of the pages curved once it was a book, to hold its weight) and it was slightly see-through, which was problematic as my images weren’t all laid out in the exact same way.

I went back to the print room during the 1 – 2pm slot, queued from 12.30pm and it was already pretty long. But I managed to finally print my images on my paper nearing 2pm!
I then had trouble finding a metal ruler to use to cut (the scalpel in the print room was quite blunt, and it was very busy in there) in my studio, so after my search in the library had also been unsuccessful, I resorted to a spirit level’s metal edge. This worked okay!

Something I regret is that I needed to trim the edges of the book, because the pages were sticking out unevenly. But because I wasn’t perfect at cutting, I had to do this twice. It resulted in the content inside being off-centre. My first book made on the regular paper shows better what it should have looked like. So in future, I may bare in mind that I should add extra marks to trim the edges on. (I decided to leave the top and bottom of the pages as they were straight anyway, and I didn’t want to ruin the book)


SDP: Edited photos – Before and Afters

Before (left) ——————————— (right) After/s

*Excludes a couple or so, as they are .TIFF files and thus cannot be uploaded here. This includes a variation of an image which is zoomed in; both are used in my book.

SDP: Issues with DPI and dimensions

As noted in my sketchbook, I had a lot of issues with my photographs: they were taken at 72DPI. So I had to try to bring them up to 300DPI, but this was proving confusing and difficult as I knew not to resample the images when trying to change the resolution, but the dimensions and DPI would change when you changed the other.

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See sketchbook for my notes on how I remedied this:

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I did try to make the process less time-consuming, and I looked up how to create a batch on photoshop. However, it then saved the images in jpg format rather than tiff which is what was preferred, so I did them individually. I couldn’t find an option to change their file-types on the batch screen.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 16.12.13

SDP: West Yorkshire Bus Station

Research of the former bus station on Vicar Lane in Leeds:

Things that I found really interesting were that Leeds used to have about 5 bus stations around the city! I found it quite endearing that the Vicar Lane bus station was referred to as the “Red” bus station, whereas the one which became the current Leeds City Bus Station was referred to as the “Green” bus station. This was due to livery between both stations’s owners. The bus station on Vicar Lane, or the Red Bus Station, was called the West Yorkshire Bus Station – due to the West Yorkshire buses arriving at and departing from it. These were red buses.

Secret Leeds topic on Leeds’ bus stations:

This discusses other stations such as Wellington St’s more than Vicar Lane’s however.

Demolishment plans for the area: West Yorkshire Bus Station mentioned at Section 2.3.

SDP: Templar House + Lyon Works/Saxon Hawke House

I found a well-detailed article regarding the past, present and future of these buildings – mainly of Templar House…

I want to use the information here as part of my photographic book.

Other articles of interest:

Regarding Saxon Hawke House…

Its future is much less clear than that of Templar House, as it is not a graded building. It looks as if it will stay and be used as a part of the Victoria Gate development, but it seems a little too soon to say for definite still. For now however it is safe.

Document showing planned demolition

SDP: Photoshop & InDesign

Here are some of my before and afters, using the techniques that David taught me…

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17/05/2015 Update
  1. 2 photoshop screenshots showing my editing process, and difference between distorting the image to straighten it up and before.
  2. Screenshots depicting my thought process as I considered layout – I went from an A4 page document (A3 when combining 2 pages) to deciding that I wanted a squared book. The amount of space with A4 was just too much, and I would end up cramming lots of photos on to each page. I didn’t want this as then the layout would be confusing/busy to look at, and hard to concentrate on individual photographs.
  • Really liked the collage idea that I got from matching up the hidden treasures sticker photographs. I disliked the two photos side by side, as they looked odd and a tad distracting, seeing as they had both stickers in the photos.
  • Also considered making “Hidden Treasures” text yellow, but then figured that it blended in too much with the photos and made the text look as if it were part of the photos’ layout – distracting, eye drawn to text rather than the images. So chose black but still with a slightly different font for the headings/titles on pages.
  • 2nd screenshot is collaged too, but difficult to tell. I liked this but decided to experiment with it further, and decided in the end to do a simpler grid layout. I used one of the photos twice but zoomed in on one, as I liked both the exterior’s texture and some small yellow flowers growing on the top of a doorway/arch. Saw it as a metaphor for life/possibility for the building existing still.
  • * Wish I had been able to get a satisfactory shot of the front of the building (1st screenshot) when the sun was facing it or it was overcast. The angled shot was the best of the bunch in my opinion. The lighting isn’t too harsh this way and still highlights the building (1st screenshot) – also feel it gives a sense of space around the building, its surroundings, how big the building is.
  • Bus station layout decisions
    First few screenshots – really liked that the 4 photos in a grid seemed to reflect aspects of each other: colours, vertical lines, and objects from other images such as the traffic cone, to give an idea of the space.
  • Second set of layout screenshots – decided before the window pages (1st screenshots).
    Wish I had got a better photo of the bus station from a distance – but I wanted to include it to give the viewer an idea of the space. Should have taken it earlier in the day when the sun was further on the left of this shot. It would have been nice if the car hadn’t been there as well. Although, this still shows that it is a car park currently, which I think is good for informing the viewer – along with the small text descriptions.

SDP: Hidden Treasures + Templar Area

During my second visit to the Templar area, I found these stickers stuck on one of the buildings…

Curious, I decided to see if I could find their origin online..

Hidden Treasures Project

Hidden Treasures is a campaign to make the people and the council aware of how the city of Leeds is neglecting its heritage in order to pursue a consumerist and modernist nature.
The amount of abandoned buildings in Leeds is rising due to the recession, most of these buildings are of a grade listed standard.
These beautifully hand built buildings are being left to ruin, whereas they could be really useful to the city and the community.

Something about them that appeals even more to me is that the notes themselves now look old themselves, as if they have become a part of the building on which they are stuck.

I like the Hidden Treasures’ approach of using black and white photography, and putting the photographs in a book. Although, I think I would like to maintain my photographs colour, as there are some really vivid colours around the Templar area. Including the red doors shown above, and the red brick work.

SDP: Leeds Central Rail Station + Victoria Gate

My research on the old station, hidden underground the current Leeds City Rail Station. It is the main focus of my Self-Directed Project, so I would love to be able to take photos of it! However, finding out how to do so is proving to be difficult…

This is an interesting article, even if the video seems to no-longer work. The descriptions of their exploration sound so interesting, and are written in a way that makes you almost able to envisage the tunnels.
I will look at Secret Leeds more from this article, as well as research the work of Jonathan Turner: “Much of this part of the underground is now off-limits for safety reasons, but one person who has seen the subterranean world is professional photographer Jonathan Turner, who travelled the tunnels in 2007.”

A search on Google StreetView uncovered the mysterious blue pillars talked about on the article: “ on Queen Street, the other on Northern Street, which are obviously air vents for some tunnel.”

Secret Leeds forum telling the story alongside J.Turner’s photographs of exploring the old station

This fascinating reiteration of their exploration makes me want to follow in their footsteps even more!
It is mentioned that the staff of Leeds City Station helped, so this may be who I need to contact. The poster evidences that they were down there to film for Look North – would it be possible for me to find this feature? (2007)

“Many thanks to Ian, Chris, Charlotte, & Jonathan, for hanging around in darkened tunnels for the surprisingly long time it takes to film, refilm, & refilm again the footage necessary to complete a Look North feature which lasts 2mins & 5 seconds (& prompts 1,200 new visits to our site in two hours!).
And special thanks to Christa Ackroyd for saying that there are ‘hundreds of miles of tunnels under Leeds’! Maybe it’s Christa we all need to be talking to!”

The Dark Arches are mentioned a lot, possibly as an entrance point?

I have looked at Jonathan Turner’s website but cannot find his photos on there – perhaps I should ask him how he took the photos, if I can’t contact Secret Leeds. 

Regarding Leeds’ first station: Wellington Station “by simong » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:48 pm: According to Rail Centres: Leeds and Bradford by S. Batty, Wellington Station opened on 1 July 1846. Leodis has 30 June 1846.”

This fellow has a brilliant collection of photographs!

I had a tutorial at university, and I talked about my worry about getting to explore the old station with the month I have left before I need to finish my project. This helped me to realise that perhaps it is a project for the future, and to work on one area of Leeds instead, as a kind of step-up to this project!

So, I plan to take more photos of the Templar area in Leeds, which is due to be demolished and replaced by a new shopping area:

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 22.12.59I have requested further information on Phase 2, so time will tell whether they respond.